How Many Reps?

Posted: June 13, 2013 by Savvy Saver in Uncategorized
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So you joined a gym and had a PT design a training routine for you. You have no idea what the training routine is going to do for you, but you have trust in the PT’s abilities. Read on if you want to know how to question the PT’s routine and refine it to your needs.


The first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself about your fitness goals. Do you want to run faster, or lift heavy or play a sport better or run a marathon? One training routine cannot serve all purposes. All training regimens are different. Once you’ve narrowed down your goals, it is going to be a lot easier to decide what program to follow.

Strength – If you decided that you want to lift all those plates like Franco Columbu in the picture above, you have a very simple path defined. The easiest way to train for maximum strength is to lift the maximum weight you can for 1-5 reps. Usually this is the way power-lifters train and work up to a 1 rep max for their power-lifting meets. There are many beginner programs out there like Starting Strength, Stronglifts, Greyskull LP. If you are an intermediate or advanced lifter, you might want to try the Texas Method, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 or The Cube Method. In an interview with Starting Strength coach Mark Rippetoe, Ed Coan admitted using 5 reps in his training. If you don’t know who Ed Coan is, go here.

Strength and Size – If you want to look big and gain strength at the same time, the ideal rep range to work with would be 6-12 reps. Although, strength gains might not be the same as with a lower rep range strength based training program, you will surely gain some strength along the way while getting big. Remember, more size doesn’t necessarily mean more strength.

Endurance – Anything greater than 12 reps is going to help you build endurance. Remember, the weights used in these rep ranges would be a fraction of those used for strength training else you’re lifting too heavy here.

If you want more info about rep ranges go here or here.

If you want the best of all the good things: strength, size and endurance, you will have to switch it up and work with different rep ranges. But if you’re just starting out, strength is the way to go. Everything else follows suit.


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